This question has been on my mind for a very long time, the reason I think this question often pops in my head is that I have vivid memories that are strongly attached to specific songs, each time I hear these songs, my soul goes time traveling back to that moment and I feel encapsulated with all the colors, people and places of that time. Which song/moment combo comes to you when you think about it? It can be a sad, happy, lonely, coming-of-age moment, or just powerful enough to find its place in your memories. My Top 3 moments and their songs are:
1.Place: Street Car in New Orleans Band: Duncan Dhu (all songs)
I studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of New Orleans and one year into my studies I moved to an apartment in uptown New Orleans with my best friend. While living in uptown meant we were closer to our Panamanian friends and Bourbon Street with all its glory, it meant also that I was far from where the University was and had no car, so for a full year, I took the Streetcar (from beginning to end which is approx 1 hr) and then a bus that would take me across the city until reaching the University campus. I went back and forth every day while listening to Duncan Dhu, a Spanish band and one of my old-time favorite’s. I had a big collection of their records so I was always changing the CD on my CD player (oh yeah!!) and never ever getting tired.
I have one perfect memory of being in the Streetcar, passing through Audubon Park in Saint Charles Avenue while listening to A Tientas, with my head resting on the window. Its been 20 years since that time and the memory remains the same. It is one of my favorite memories because although I felt tired, lonely, and overwhelmed with the studies, and uncertain about the future, the song lyrics and melody allowed my soul to sing giving me profound hope for the next chapter in my life.
2. Place: New Orleans Song: Late in the Evening by Paul Simon (in Concert)
When I was 14 years old my dad introduced me to Simon and Garfunkel and was love at first sight. I barely spoke English but the album Bridge Over Troubled Water had a special place in my music collection. With the years I was able to slowly collect more albums and the album The Concert in Central Park became my favorite. In 2001, when I was living in New Orleans Paul Simon came to Jazz Fest and he was giving a concert and of course, I wanted to go. I could not get one person to come with me so I asked my then-boyfriend to drop me off and pick me up after the concert to which he agreed. I remember I had bought the cheapest ticket and was on the second floor, but since I was by myself I slowly moved my way down and placed myself in the center of the fourth row. It was magical. Seeing all these people singing Paul Simon’s songs was unbelievable to me. And then he played Late in the Evening and the people exploded and I was there, dancing, singing, seeing Paul Simon singing while playing his guitar was unbelievable, it was a moment of excitement, of pure joy, of pure greatness. No matter where I am, every time I hear this song, I smile… I fill myself with love and joy and happiness… Thank you, Paul Simon.
3. Place: Driving in our car Song: Everything will change
We have been fans of Gavin Degraw’s music for years. We have all his albums and we constantly listen to him in the house or while driving. My husband and kids are huge fans too which makes it super easy to ask Google to play his music at any time. He is our to-go-artist when the four of us are together. My husband always dreamed of buying a convertible and after saving money for a couple of years we were able to buy one. One beautiful morning, we went for a ride, with the top down, the wind blowing, the sun shining, and Gavin Degraw’s Everything will change playing out loud. I captured this moment in video and this moment represents fulfillment, joy, happiness, and love. I catch my husband every now and then watching the video with a big smile on his face, holding on to that moment in time in which as a family, we felt whole, we felt connected and we felt loved. The kids are much older now and although their love for Gavin Degraw and especially this song has not diminished, this moment in time will forever be ours.
I believe in the power of music, on the power of songwriting, from been a teenager and listening to Sublime, to Ruben Blades (of course best ever), to singing Regueton with my oldest son, or reaching for Pearl Jam during traffice time, music plays an important moment in my life. So what about you? Which are the songs that connect you with that special memory time and time again?